Board of Finance Releases Overview of Town Budget Requests

Comments and Questions Invited through April 30

Easton’s Board of Finance has released its public hearing presentation summarizing the town’s annual budget requests for the 2020-21 fiscal year, and inviting comments and questions to be sent to BOF@eastonct.gov by April 30.

The budget presented is what has been submitted from all town departments. The Board of Finance has not made or requested any changes in any department budget and is asking people to make any comments they have on the budget by April 30. The board will not make any changes until after the comment period.

The total town budget requested for 2020-21 is $45,522,694, including $31,306,239 for education, $13,372,355 for town accounts, and $844,100 for capital expenditures. The following slide from the presentation illustrates the overall distribution of the major budget components with the requested increases:

The total budget increase requested for the next fiscal year is $1,669,00 (or 3.81%) with $894,000 of that total requested by the Region 9 Board of Education for Joel Barlow High School, $707,000 requested by the Easton Board of Education for Samuel Staples Elementary School and Helen Keller Middle School, and $64,000 requested by other town departments.

The Region 9 Board of Education is proposing a 0.90% increase for a total budget of $24,351,255 in 2020-21. The annual percentage of the Joel Barlow budget paid by Easton and Redding is determined each year by the corresponding percentage of students enrolled from each town. Although Redding’s apportionment in 2020-21 would be $2,103,949 greater than Easton’s, the $894,000 increase for Easton reflects an additional 21 students from the town while Redding’s enrollment is decreasing by 37 students:

Region 9/Joel Barlow High School Apportionment Overview

Detail from “Region 9 Board of Education 2020-2021 Budget” included in Easton’ Board of Finance Public Hearing Presentation for FY21 Annual Budget

The bulk of the Easton Board of Education’s $707,000 requested increase for Samuel Staples Elementary School and Helen Keller Middle School is for $318,000 in contractual staff increases and $226,000 in additional health insurance costs.

The board is also requesting funds to restore a media specialist and extracurricular activities, an additional kindergarten teacher in response to enrollment trends, a part-time social worker, a board certified behavioral analyst, and classroom paraprofessionals. The remainder of the requested budget increases would fund legal expenses, operational changes to the central office, student outplacement costs, and reimbursements for pre-K tuition.

These total increases of $884,000 are offset by $176,000 in decreased expenses from one retirement and one resignation, a reduction in teachers’ tuition costs, a reduction in homebound instructional costs and the elimination of a technical assistant position:

Detail from “Easton Board of Education Budget for 2020-2021 School Year” included in Easton’ Board of Finance Public Hearing Presentation for FY21 Annual Budget

The entire presentation for public hearing — including a detailed summary of school expenditures, non-educational expenses, capital expenditures, and the five-year capital campaign — is available as a PDF on the Town of Easton’s website: https://www.eastonct.gov/sites/eastonct/files/uploads/march_2020_budget_electronic_presentation_complete_rev_4-1-2020.pdf.

Budget comments and questions can be sent to BOF@eastonct.gov through April 30.

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